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Climate Change, Irrigation and Pests: Examining Heliothis in the Murray Darling Basin

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  • David Adamson

    (Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland)

Abstract

Helicoverpa spp. (heliothis) are a major insect pest of cotton, grains and horticulture in the Murray‐ Darling Basin. Climate change is likely to make conditions more favourable for heliothis. This could cause regional comparative advantages in irrigation systems to change as management costs increase and yields decrease. Irrigation in the Murray Darling Basin produces 12 percent of Australia’s total gross value of agricultural production. If producers fail to consider climate change impacts on heliothis they may misallocate resources.Adamson et al. (2007 and 2009) have used a state contingent approach to risk and uncertainty to illustrate how producers could allocate irrigation resources based on climate change impacts on water resources. This is achieved by separating environmental risks and uncertainties into defined states of nature to which the decision makers have a set of defined responses. This approach assumes that the decision makers can achieve optimal allocation of resources as they have perfect knowledge in how they should respond to each state of nature (i.e. producers know how to manage heliothis now). Climate change brings a set of new conditions for which existing state parameters (mean and variance) will alter. Consequently a decision maker will have incomplete information about the state description; and the relationship between state allocable inputs and the associated state dependent output, until they have experienced all possible outcomes. Therefore if producers ignore climate changes to heliothis they may lock in resources that may prove to be unprofitable in the long run. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a framework that could be used for determining climate change impacts of heliothis (i.e. density), illustrate that management costs rise as density increases and how a stochastic function could deal with incomplete knowledge in a state contingent framework.

Suggested Citation

  • David Adamson, 2010. "Climate Change, Irrigation and Pests: Examining Heliothis in the Murray Darling Basin," Murray-Darling Program Working Papers WP1M10, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsm:murray:m10_1
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    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/rsmg/WP/WPM10_01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Adamson & Thilak Mallawaarachchi & John Quiggin, 2009. "Declining inflows and more frequent droughts in the Murray-Darling Basin: climate change, impacts and adaptation ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(3), pages 345-366, July.
    2. Adamson, David & Cook, David, 2007. "Re-examining economic options for import risk assessments," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 149869, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    3. David Adamson & Thilak Mallawaarachchi & John Quiggin, 2007. "Water use and salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin: A state-contingent model ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), pages 263-281, September.
    4. Gershon Feder, 1979. "Pesticides, Information, and Pest Management under Uncertainty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 61(1), pages 97-103.
    5. Robert G. Chambers & John Quiggin, 2002. "The State-Contingent Properties of Stochastic Production Functions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 513-526.
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    7. Hughes, Neal & Hafi, Ahmed & Goesch, Tim, 2009. "Urban water management: optimal price and investment policy under climate variability," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(2), pages 1-18.
    8. Davis, Robert M. & Skold, Melvin D. & Berry, James S. & Kemp, William P., 1992. "The Economic Threshold For Grasshopper Control On Public Rangelands," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-10, July.
    9. Jean-Paul Chavas, 2008. "A Cost Approach to Economic Analysis Under State-Contingent Production Uncertainty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 435-466.
    10. Garnaut,Ross, 2008. "The Garnaut Climate Change Review," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521744447, July.
    11. Ramanan Laxminarayan & R. Simpson, 2002. "Refuge Strategies for Managing Pest Resistance in Transgenic Agriculture," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(4), pages 521-536, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Keywords

    Murray Darling Basin; Heliothis; Irrigation;
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